May 18, 2024


Technology will be Here

Smart Tech to Perfect All Your Video Calls

Once upon a time all you needed to do before a work meeting was check your shirt for coffee stains. As social distancing has made streaming video the meeting medium du jour, this process has become a bit more complicated.

But it doesn’t need to be.

Below are some clever devices that will have you looking great, so you can fully focus on the task on-screen, be it a budget proposal or co-worker’s birthday celebration.

Elgato Ring Light

If you watch any live-streaming content, you’re probably familiar with a certain circular glow in your broadcaster’s eye—the tell-tale sign of a ring light. The ring light is a beloved device of YouTubers, TikTokers, Instagram influencers and more as the loop easily and effectively illuminates the speaker, giving them a healthy glow ideal for video broadcast. And the Ring Light by Elgato, a device maker dedicated to streamers, is one of the best. The Elgato Ring Light, which is available as a desk clamp or with a freestanding base, lets the user place a camera (including a phone or tablet-based camera) directly in the center of the ring, or to place the ring light behind their computer-fixed camera set-up—with each scenario offering an equally exceptional glow. In addition to providing quality, flicker-free, skin-flattering light without glare (or excessive heat), the Elgato makes changing the lighting a breeze, with phone-based, computer-based or voice-based controls—an optimal setup for streamers who can focus more on talking than tech.

The Elgato Ring Light is available for $199.

Lume Cube

For the meeting attendee who is lugging their laptop to any quiet corner of the house—and subject to the lighting situation they find there—the Lume Cube is a solid illumination solution. A mini-panel light that easily attaches to the back of any laptop (or desktop or tablet), the Lume Cube instantly brightens any broadcaster, bathing them in soft LED light that enables them to be fully present on any video call. In addition to easy-to-use, adjustable color temperature controls, the Lume Cube features a USB-C adapter, allowing owners to charge the device while using it and ensuring that they are never left in the dark.

The Lume Cube is available for $69.

Razer Kiyo

If your lighting and camera could use an upgrade, consider investing in the Kiyo by Razer. This camera-and-ring-light combination is capable of capturing video at 60 frames per second with 720p resolution, while illuminating the speaker and automatically adjusting for white balance and low-light situations. The Kiyo, which can be attached to the back of a laptop or desktop, or standalone on a base, features a suite of brightness, contrast, saturation and white balance options that can be customized and saved as presets for future use, as well the ability to toggle between Auto and Manual focus, for whatever your streaming needs may be.

The Razer Kiyo is available for $99.

Valera Professional Green Screen Bundle

Of course, anyone who is on a video call knows it is not just the speaker’s appearance that may be under scrutiny—their surroundings could be subject to some discussion as well. With the Valera Professional Green Screen Bundle, you’ll never have to worry about that pile of laundry or self-grooming puppy that may be placed just behind you on stream. This ultra-portable, 75-inch-by-58-inch green screen gives users ample background coverage, even when standing and Valera’s Zoom Concierge Service provides expertise on how to easily add backgrounds for Zoom calls. In addition to enabling users to key out (remove entirely) their background or share presentations on the green screen, Valera owners will have access to Valera’s Professional Background Gallery, with an ever-increasing stock of background images/settings to choose from for video calls.

The Valera Professional Green Screen Bundle is available for $169.